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MASTERING THE VISUAL ARTS: Craig Carter

“The aim of art is to represent not the outward appearance of things, but their inward significance.” – Aristotle

There are thousands of writers, cinematographers, producers, and directors trying to break into the film industry in a big way. Though many are talented, few actually make it – Craig Carter is one who can definitely say he has made it.

Meet Mr. Carter. Born and raised in New Orleans, he is the epitome of creativity, hard work and determination and how far all of those can take one’s career. He has the education under his belt and he is now in the midst of gaining countless hours of experience in the entertainment industry.

We heard about him through one of our correspondents and we had to know more. Here’s what Craig had to say:

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell us about yourself.

CRAIG CARTER: I was born and raised in New Orleans, Louisiana and grew up in a household of educators, so education was always important in my house. Although I was a bit of a clown in school, the lessons my parents instilled in me prepared me to do what I’m doing today.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What peaked your interest in the visual arts?

Craig Carter & Bokeem Woodbine

CRAIG CARTER: I have always enjoyed movies and writing little stories. Because I was a little mischievous as a child, I was punished a lot, so I would read comics and sometimes draw and come up with little stories for my characters. Then I had a vivid imagination. Sometimes in conversation (as a child), I would tell believable stories about places I had never been, but people would believe me. I was enrolled at Southern University and I was I initially planning to major in psychology, but a friend suggested that I look into Mass Communication, as it, according to her, fit my personality. I enrolled in Mass Communications and she was right. Throughout my undergraduate career, I was a personal barber for some of the No Limit cats. At that same time I was interested in film. Master P had just finished “Bout It Bout It” and was working on other movies. Through my relationship with No Limit, I allowed an inside look into film and the possibility of me pursuing this as a career. After I graduated, I maintained contact with Kane and Abel throughout the years, and Abel (Dan Garcia) had an interest as well and we began collaborating on some projects.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Tell us about some of your projects you’ve worked on.

CRAIG CARTER: The first of them was “The Block Party” in 2003, where I served as more of a consultant and shadowed the Director, Amir Valina, as I have never directed before, but just knew what was right and wrong. I also served as the editor of the film. The next project I wrote, directed and produced was titled “Black Saturday”. We put a few more projects out, and then I moved to Atlanta trying to make a name for myself. I worked on an EPK for David Banner, Young Bloodz, Look Around, a show that aired on MTV Jams, and a few other production jobs. I moved from there to Houston where my family was and I wanted to be closer to my ailing father and my daughter. There I worked on the Judge Alex Show, worked as a barber, and worked on a couple of music videos. I also worked on the “Mike Jones American Dream” movie as an editor. After my Pops passed and work became slow, I moved back to Baton Rouge and continued to work on sets as a grip, electrician and camera operator. In 2009, I was accepted into the Masters Program at the University of New Orleans in Film Production. Before getting into school, I had worked on “Meet the Spartans”, “Open Road”, “Mama I Want To Sing”, “Jumper”, and “Miracle at St. Anna”, and a list of others. On this particular movie, I had the chance to speak with Spike Lee and we got into a convo about  Spizikes, Nike brand, Do the Right Thing, and Mo Better Blues. He then asked what job was I facilitating and how long I had been doing it. I told him I was aspiring to be a director. “A working Director”, he replied and he asked what I was doing towards that goal. I told him about my career thus far including the movies I directed and also that I was accepted into graduate film school. He said, “Go to school – it can’t do anything but help.” So I enrolled at the University of New Orleans film program and never looked back.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: What’s coming up for you? Anything new?

CRAIG CARTER: I am currently working on my thesis project which is a short film titled, “Red Bean Monday”. That’s all I have going right now, because I have so many areas of focus. With directing, writing, and producing the film, I can’t put any thought into anything else – one step at a time.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: Where will we see you in 5 to 10 years?

CRAIG CARTER: I see me directing totally. I plan to do a couple features when I graduate – literally soon as I graduate in December. I have some things lined up and we will see.

THE HEAT MAGAZINE: We hear that you have found a unique way to fund an education related project. Tell us about that and how our readers can help out.

CRAIG CARTER: I took an AFI (American Film Institute) producing workshop at school and I was introduced to crowd sourcing. Crowd sourcing is a way to get your project noticed by masses and to solicit donations to help fund your project. There are crowd sourcing websites that aid the artist in receiving those funds. Indie Go Go and Kick Starter are two crowd sourcing websites that I know of that are established for this particular cause. As I mentioned before, I am currently producing a short film titled “Red Bean Monday”, which I wrote and will be directing for my thesis project. I am also soliciting donations through Kick Starter to help fund my film. You can help me by donating at least $10.00 by going to www.kickstarter.com/projects/1053277383/redbean-monday. The funds generated will allow me to pay for things like cast, crew members, wardrobe, food, and other items necessary for production. If you can donate more, feel free as I have different rewards setup for different levels of donations. I figure $10 dollars x 1500 people equals goal accomplished. Please help me see my dream come true.

EDITOR’S NOTE: The Heat Magazine certainly supports Mr. Carter’s efforts and we’ve made our donation. Please consider helping him out, as his supports his community in a positive manner. We look forward to seeing much more of him in the near future. Make sure to check out some of his work below.


Walking thru New Orleans from craig carter on Vimeo.

Mystikal from craig carter on Vimeo.

Big Cheif from craig carter on Vimeo.

STINGY SESS 4-5 FEATURING MS TEE from craig carter on Vimeo.

ONE NIGHT from craig carter on Vimeo.

James Bond Benz from craig carter on Vimeo.

Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chief
Arlene Culpepper, Asst. Editor-in-Chiefhttp://www.mikodreamz.com
Vice-President & Asst. Editor-in-Chief of The Heat Magazine, Arlene is a Louisiana native, Certified Paralegal, Publicist, Owner of MIKODreamz PR, co-owner of 504Diffusion, writer, producer, and jack of all trades, who is heavily involved in her community as well as serving as Media Advisor for New Orleans Union for Entertainment (NOUE), Member of the NOLA Music Awards from 2012-present & Member of the Press Club of New Orleans. Her work is published across the web. Her PR work has been highly recognized & awarded. She was/is publicist for the late great BTY YoungN, 0017th and more. She is also working on her first novel & aspires to turn it into a film & is currently writing the authorized biography of the legendary Pimp C of UGK. She can be reached via email at Arlene@theheatmag.com. Follow her on Twitter - @CategorySeven & Instagram - @hurricanearlene.
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